Selwyn, Austen and new book

August 8, 2010 at 9:42 am (books) (, , , , )

After much looking (wasn’t this book due out months ago? It seems out in the UK – for I see copies for sale – but STILL doesn’t have a dust jacket photo!), here is a sneak peek at the cover of David Selwyn’s new book, Jane Austen and Children.

Continuum’s description makes it (I hope!) valuable reading for someone with so many pregnant ladies and young mothers to write about! I loved the publisher’s Jane Austen and Marriage (by Hazel Jones, who I wish would come out with something new!), and trust the same high standards are given over to Selwyn’s book; after all, he has written much on Jane Austen and the Austen family in general.

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Book Reviews and Books Reviewed

September 10, 2009 at 8:53 pm (books) (, , , , , )

ja_and_marriage_coverKerri Spennicchia — who supplies us all with dozens of Austen clippings — sent the following Times Literary Supplement review (TLS) of Hazel Jones’ recent Austen book.

I wish you could read it — but something’s up with WordPress — the file uploads, but doesn’t link. Will try again later.

[9/11] It’s now later and for some reason it still doesn’t ‘pop’ in – but I did a bit of finagling and *finally* it works – be advised, however, that you will have to turn the page image around: it opens upside-down! [no real big deal, Kerri…]

In the meantime, with all the problems, I checked out the publisher’s listing of reviews (hoping for a link to the TLS): Continuum includes an excerpt from my review found on the JASNA-Vermont chapter blog!

dress of peopleSooo…. looking for more of my own work (!! = but, if I don’t toot my own horn, no one else will), I found a website by historian and author John Styles – whose book The Dress of the People I reviewed in the most recent JASNA-News. He has some interesting research avenues, including a history of hand spinning in England. Check out his website.

October update: the JASNA review can now be found online.

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For Better, For Worse

August 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , )

Dear Miss Heber2Since January, when I came across advance information on Hazel Jones’ forthcoming book Jane Austen & Marriage, I’ve awaited its July release. For a fuller ‘review’ of it, please see Jane Austen In Vermont’s blog. Here, I merely want to point up the amount of information Jones has plucked from letters in the SMITH family! Not only does Eliza Chute (née Smith) and her mother Sarah come into the discussion of courting and matrimony, so does Eliza’s sister Maria (who marries the heir to the Earl of Northampton; her husband later becomes the first Marquess). James Austen — Jane’s eldest brother and father of James-Edward Austen (Emma’s husband) — is here also, with both of his wives. And source materials bring old friends like Miss Heber (pictured at left) and new friends like Dorothea Herbert (a book I am currently reading, with much enjoyment).

ja_and_marriage_coverJones’ chapter on “The Power of Refusal” (chapter 2) put a smile on my face: here she mentions that some suitors proposed in person — while others wrote letters or used an intermediary. Why the smile? The Rev. Richard Seymour, totally unsure of his reception (according to his own diaries), sent his elder brother John (another man of the cloth) to sound out Mrs Smith – who then sounded out daughter Fanny; it was good news from both. And wasn’t Richard happy!

The map of “Jane Austen’s Hampshire” (in B&W in the book, but reproduced in color on the back cover of the dust jacket) shows just how close The Vyne was situated to such Austen locales as Manydown House, Deane, Steventon, Chawton and Basingstoke’s Assembly Rooms.

This is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in Austen or her novels; the use of primary materials written by acquaintances, relations and autobiographers will appeal to historians researching early nineteenth-century mores in middle class England. Anyone interested in my research will enjoy the peeks into the lives of the few Smith-Gosling relatives.

Also worth a look – the author’s website, which includes information on the Austen courses she offers.

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